Nainital to Kunjakharak

Nainital has a beautiful lake surrounded by a beautiful mountain city but that’s not all. The Naini lake no doubt is amazing and is a must-visit. But there is a lot more these beautiful mountains have to offer.

Kunjkharak lies at an altitude of 2323 meters from the sea level. It is a small place or you may call it the end of the road, in the Kosiyakutoli tehsil of Nainital district in Uttarakhand. The place Kunjakharak has a small forest lodge and that’s it if you are looking for civilization.

So, if you are planning a stay at Kunjakharak Forest Rest House, do make arrangements in advance. The place is not far from Nainital. The distance from Nainital to Kunjkharak is approx 37 km. So, what you can also plan is a day trip from Nainital to Kunjakharak. Or you can also plan as an alternate to stay near Kunjakharak like Vinayak forest Rest House or at Kilbury or at Pangot. Pangot has a few lodges and hotels, and stay here can be very convenient to reach Kunjakharak and explore around. The distance of Kilbury is 8 km from Nainital and Pangot is 15 km from Nainital.

Pangot village with multiple lodges and guest houses
Pangot village with multiple lodges and guest houses

The places you come across while travelling from Nainital to Kunjakharak are: if you start from Mallital, next is Sukhatal, then Bara(12) Patthar, Tanki Check Post, Himalaya Darshan and Echo Point, Kilbury, Pangot, Ghuggu kham, Sigri Camp, Vinayak and finally Kunjakharak.

Sigri Campsite 15 km before Kunjakharak
Sigri Campsite 15 km before Kunjakharak

Why to visit Kunjakharak?

The place is famous among eco-tourists.

Kunjakharak is famous for bird-watching and the beautiful Himalayan view of the giants like Mount Trishul, Mount Nanda Ghunti and others.

Actually not only Kunjakharak but all these small hamlets like Kilbury, Pangot, Ghuggu Kham. which you come across while coming from Nainital fall under Naina Devi Himalayan Bird Conservation Reserve. There are numerous birding trails and attracts bird-watchers from across the globe.

A board with a Koklass pheasant image found in the Naina Devi Himalayan Bird Conservation Reserve
A board with a Koklass pheasant image found in the Naina Devi Himalayan Bird Conservation Reserve

Not only birds but the place is also home to many other animals like the barking deer, Tiger and leopard and numerous species of snakes.

Apart from fauna, the place also has a rich flora culture. Trees like birch, Rhododendron, Oak are widely spread. Also, Jhoola ghas (grass), a variety of moss is available here. It is widely used in cosmetics, ayurvedic medicines and as a spice. Though due to its extensive extraction, it is on the verge of extinction.

At walking distance, on the edge of the ridge from Kunjkharak, there is also a watchtower. From the watch-tower, you get a panoramic view of the Himalayan Peaks and hill-stations like Ranikhet and Binsar. And on the south side, you get to see the plain tarai region and the Jim Corbett Park.

Best time to visit Kunjakharak.

The place is accessible round the year. Avoid in monsoon.

The road on the way to Kunjakharak without parapet
The road on the way to Kunjakharak without parapet

Many people visit the place in summer, but at this time you don’t get a clear view of the Himalayas. Post monsoon, in the autumn months and the winter, the Himalayas are clearly visible.

If you are out there for bird-watching, it’s a heaven round the year.

Is there snowfall in Kunjakharak?

Nainital is famous for snowfall and so are all its nearby places. All these places Kilbury, Pangot, Ghuggu kham and Kunjakharak receive snowfall and have a mesmerizing view of the Himalayas. In winter, from December to February, all these places are a must-visit for snow-seekers.

In winter, Kilbury and Pangot receive snowfall and the road remain functional when arriving from Nainital. But from Pangot to Ghuggu Kham and further to Kunjakharak, there are minor chances of the road being closed. Though this only happens in case of heavy snowfall, as the roads are not well-built and even do not parapets on the edges. But no worries, in that case, Kilbury and Pangot will not let you disappointed. They do receive an ample amount of snowfall.

Temperature at Kunjakharak

In summer months, from April to June, the temperature ranges from 15 deg C at night and 30 Deg C in the day time.

In Winter months, from September to March, the temperature is around 0 deg C in the night and 20 Deg C in the day time.

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